People trafficker kicked out of UK for third time after being discovered in London

·2-min read
Hazir Lala (National Crime Agency)
Hazir Lala (National Crime Agency)

A convicted people trafficker will be booted out of the UK for a third time after a four-month manhunt discovered him in north-east London.

Hazir Lala, who has a long string of previous convictions, was found in Walthamstow on Friday night by National Crime Agency officers.

The 39-year-old Albanian was taken into custody and is now set to be deported from the UK for the third time - just over a year from the last time he was deported. 

A date has not yet been set for his deportation.

“Hazir Lala is a convicted human trafficker and has no place in the UK, his presence here presented an unacceptable risk to the public,” NCA regional head of investigations Jacque Beer said.

In April 2016, Lala was convicted in the UK of drunk driving, driving without insurance and of having and controlling false identity documents.

He was jailed for six months and barred from driving for 15 months.

Despite that, just months later he committed organised people trafficking offences in Belgium.

He was convicted in his absence in February 2018, and arrested again in the UK in September 2019.

Lala was extradited to Belgium at the start of 2020, where he was sentenced for human trafficking and participating in a criminal organisation.

Despite being given a five-year sentence, it was suspended and he was released after only a few months. 

He was also ordered to pay a fine of €102,000 but €51,000 of it was suspended.

He swiftly returned to the UK and was arrested again on February 20 for overstaying. 

Lala was deported back to Albania last August - only to slip back into the UK yet again.

NCA officers have been hunting Lala since July this year. “Tackling organised immigration crime and human trafficking is a priority for the Agency,” said Mr Beer.

“We saw with last week’s tragedy in the Channel, the horrendous dangers of organised immigration crime which the Agency and its partners are doing everything possible to combat.”

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